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Arsenal Football Club has signed a sponsorship deal to promote Israel as a tourist destination (on 26 February 2006).

Israel is a racist apartheid state built upon the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Arab population from Palestine. Anti-apartheid campaigners such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu have stated as much and called for a complete boycott of Israel similar to that used against apartheid South Africa.

Israel's apartheid policies include the segregation of West Bank roads by the military and the construction of a vast steel and concrete barrier through the West Bank and Jerusalem. Dubbed the "apartheid wall", because it forces communities apart and grabs land, it was held to be in violation of international law by the International Court of Justice. Israel's plan to carve up the West Bank, apportioning pieces of territory to the Palestinians is also comparable with South Africa's "bantustans" - the nominally independent homelands into which millions of black men and women were herded.

Israel's racial discrimination is daily life of most Palestinian Arabs who have no place in a "Jewish" state. Since Israel is a Jewish state, Israeli Jews are given special rights which non-Jews do not have. Israel has deprived millions of Palestinians of their liberty and property and has waged a war against a civilian population, in particular children.

As regards football, Israeli human rights groups have documented how Israeli soldiers routinely shoot Palestinian children playing football outside their refugee camps. Furthermore, Israeli authorities regularly prevent Palestinian players from attending international games. In September 2004, five players were prevented from traveling to the World Cup qualifier against Uzbekistan. Unable to play in Palestine, the team travels to Doha, Qatar, for "home" games and trains in Ismailia, Egypt, more than 100 miles from the local Gaza players' homes.

For Arsenal to sign a deal to promote such apartheid state as Israel is to go against the very principles of the 'Let's Kick Racism out of Football' campaign. I urge you to pull out of this deal as only economic pressure, similar to that which toppled the apartheid South African regime, will end apartheid in Israel.

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